Malibu, CA, USA
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Carnivore: Fringe to Mainstream
The carnivore movement has really changed and grown. Back when I first encountered it, carnivore or “zero carb” as it was known was a fringe movement. People were pretty much eating ground beef and drinking water, with few exceptions. I wrote about it back in 2010 and was highly skeptical. As it’s grown, and the anecdotes and (to a limited extent) studies have accumulated, I revisited it.
I developed the Primal Blueprint as a way to beat the ailments I’d wrought with my chronic cardio, high stress endurance athletic lifestyle: IBS, arthritis, chronic upper respiratory tract infections, general lethargy. Something wasn’t right, I knew. Humans weren’t supposed to be sick and in pain all the time. It worked, I got better, and I never looked back.
Meanwhile, carnivore adherents and enthusiasts were using the diet to beat many of the same ailments I’d beaten with Primal. What was going on?
I had to explore it myself. I had to experiment, so I began incorporating many carnivore principles into my own diet. Eating more meat and other animal foods. Emphasizing protein. Eating fewer vegetables. Choosing my plants with anti-nutrients in mind. But I’m not eating only animal products. I can’t call myself a carnivore, so what am I? What is this way of eating?
Since things need names, I’m calling it Carniflex: an animal-food-centric way of eating that doesn’t eliminate plants, instead selecting for the most optimal plants.
This is fairly close to how I eat most days, and it’s actually not far from how I’ve eaten for many years.
What is Carniflex?
Like I said, I don’t want to be dogmatic about ways of eating. So these aren’t hardline “diet rules.” These are loose guideposts.
Animal foods form the basis of my diet. They provide the most calories.
Meat: steaks, burgers, chops, roasts
Seafood: fish, shellfish, shrimp
Dairy: kefir, yogurt, cheese, cream
In other words, the bulk of my diet is standard carnivorous fare.
I round out meals with vegetables and plant foods, rather than focusing on them. These foods aren’t the base of my diet. Carniflex uses plants as medicinal accoutrements. They enhance and provide micronutrition rather than huge caloric boluses.